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SURVEY SCAM - Robin Williams 'Goodbye' Video Message


Message appearing on Facebook invites users to click a link to view an 'exclusive' video of Robin Williams saying goodbye with his cell phone.

Facebook phising
© pockygallery

Brief Analysis

The message is a callous scam designed to exploit news of the much-loved actor's death. There is no video. The link leads to a fake BBC news page that tries to trick you into sharing the scam message and participating in bogus online surveys.


Exclusive video Robin Williams Says Goodbye with his Cell Phone

Detailed Analysis

Robin Williams 'Goodbye Video' Facebook Message

A message being distributed on Facebook claims that Robin Williams made a goodbye video using his cell phone just before he took his life. The message invites users to click a link to see the 'exclusive' video. It includes a teaser image of the actor supposedly taken from the video footage.

Post is a Survey Scam

However, there is no video. This message is a disgraceful scam that attempts to capitalize on news of the actor's death.

Clicking on the video 'play' button in the post will take you to a fake BBC News page that supposedly hosts the video. When you try to play the video, you will be told via a pop-up message that you must first share the page via Facebook.

After you share the page as requested, you will be taken to a second fake page that again appears to contain the video. But, when you again try to play the video, a second pop-up will claim that you must first participate in an online survey, ostensibly to verify your age.

These suspect surveys will try to get you to provide your personal information or sign up to extremely expensive SMS 'services'. The information you provide will be shared with unscrupulous Internet marketers and may later be used to inundate you with unwanted phone calls, emails, and junk mail.

Meanwhile, the scammers will receive commissions via dodgy affiliate marketing schemes each time you participate in a survey or offer.

And, no matter how many surveys you fill in, you will never get to see the promised goodbye video, which never existed to begin with.

Some versions of the scam may also try to trick you into downloading malicious toolbars or plugins.

Scammers Regular Use Celebrity Death Posts

Survey scammers often use supposed breaking news or video about the death of a celebrity as a means of enticing users to click their bogus links.

In most cases, the named celebrity has not died at all and the 'news' has simply been made up by the scammers.

Sadly, in this case, the news is all too true.  Scammers were also quick to exploit the death of actor Paul Walker in November 2013.

© s_bukley

Last updated: August 15, 2014
First published: August 15, 2014
By Brett M. Christensen
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